Enlightened by Dogs Podcast

EBD158 Living with An Excitable Dog with Beth Williams

EBD158 Living with An Excitable Dog with Beth Williams

When your personality doesn’t align with your dog’s in the ways you might expect, how do you communicate and connect?

BPA member, Beth Williams, welcomed her new dog, KZ into her life with open arms and an open heart. But after years of owning earth-type dogs (and being an earth-type herself), adapting to a dog with a fire-type personality was quite a change!

KZ’s excitable nature presented many new challenges for Beth and put a lot of initial strain on their relationship. Now, they have the heart and mind connection Beth always dreamed of. How did they do it? Find out in this episode of Enlightened By Dogs, as Kathy speaks to Beth about her incredible path to calming and connecting with her excitable dog.

In this episode:

  • How Beth’s dog-centered lifestyle created challenges for KZ
  • Why Beth needed to adjust her expectations for her new puppy
  • Why understanding your and your dog’s personalities can help you connect better
  • Beth’s new perspective on communicating with your dog

Read the blog post on this topic.


“I just had to let go. That’s not who he is. That’s not what he enjoys. Maybe at some point in his life, he may enjoy it, but he’s not now and trying to make him do that wasn’t helping our relationship.”

“Because he is so big and so young and the reputation that his breed has, there was a sense that I really needed to control him. I just needed to be able to get a handle on him and be able to control him more to keep everybody safe.”

“Staying connected was always my reframe versus preventing him from doing something I didn’t want him to do.”

“The thing it tends to come back to is staying connected.”

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4 Responses

  1. I have a very excitable 1 yo Boston Terrier. He is fine with me alone but when others come around he goes crazy. I need advice!

  2. Omg… that was such a great story!

    I love listening to your podcasts, if you do not mind, to just get an essence of the work you do with people and dogs.

    Because I do not have lots of money to spend, I do not have much tools to trains my dog Daisy and it became a good thing because I need to rethink how to communicate with her. Let’s say I did have lots of it well, training tools and lessons of all sorts for us. But with the minimum I have, I scraped up enough to build a fence. Daisy, an impolite dog greeter, easily excitable dog now has fence frustration/ boundary frustration. You know the video of the dog on each side of the fence that are ferociously barking and growling match and when the fence rolls open, the dog run away. Hilarious to see on video but to pay for a fence and live that every time someone or something passes by… not funny. So gathering info here and there, I am working on a remedy, not 100% yet because of my timing but so far so good. It’s a 1-2-3 recall. When I say one, I state what Daisy is barking at a person walking by. When I say two, I say it with a voice that something good is going to happen pretty soon, an enticing voice. When I say three, I say three with a now or never voice, that’s if you come to me now, that something good is happening or if you waite, it’s not going to happen. And this is where I look for Daisy to distance herself from what she is reacting to. I got the idea from the film Date Night (with Tina Fey and Jim Carrel) when the mother wants her daughter to get off the kitchen chair. I live in a remote area of Quebec and I feel so isolated because there are a few social dog groups. Sure there is canicross but i can’t run and Daisy certainly can… so mismatch of qualities. But I dream of hosting a dog group… hosting meaning, inviting people to “chez moi” and do fun dog activities. I’d love to do a nosework group activity. But I am not an expert, just learning dog body language and clicker training. Anyhow, I really would like to continue listening to your podcasts. They are so good and they help me build my idea/ dream… Your podcasts are so good!! Thank-you Kathy, for what you are doing and reaching out to us. You are an inspiration.

  3. This was so wonderful and added a lot to what I already learned in my BP time. Thank you Beth, thank you Kathy!
    Hummel sure is fire with strong wood and me being fire with earth made the beginning of our time together verry temperamental. Like Beth I had to give up ideas of what I wanted to do with my dog and find the joy in doing what we can do. And yes, giving responsibility to your dog is the key to a good partnership. I take good ideas from this podcast into Hummels and my days.

  4. I really had to light bulb moments and got a few ideas to try listening to Beth. When I got Sadie, I wanted her to go everywhere and do everything with me. I tried and tried to get her in the car, she hated it. I would pick her up and put her in. I realized it wasn’t that she couldn’t get in, she just didn’t want to go in. She doesn’t like meeting a whole bunch of new people or go into places with a lot of people. She enjoys things with her and I. I also enjoyed hearing a out bringing KZ back in when she is reactive to the dogs. Sadie is very reactive to most things which come near to her property. I try to engage, but she is so much in the red zone, that I learned it is impossible for her to hear me. I will try the long lead in the yard and get her next to me or in the house before she gets in to the high orange zone.

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